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State government revenues continue to rebound

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The financial outlook for Oklahoma state government continues to improve, with April's General Revenue Fund collections up nearly 25 percent over the same month a year ago.

"After some tough years I'm encouraged to see our economy showing some real resilience," said Denise Northrup, director of the Oklahoma Office of Management and Enterprise Services. "If we continue to see positive returns, I'm hopeful we can replenish the Rainy Day Fund and restore some of the cuts agencies have experienced the past few years."

Tax changes enacted last year and an improving state economy have contributed to the state's improving financial condition.

The state took in $764.3 million in General Revenue Fund collections in April, which was $152.5 million, or 24.9 percent, above the amount taken in the same month a year earlier.

Those collections were $93.8 million, or 14 percent, above the monthly estimate used for budgeting purposes.

The state has many funds, but the General Revenue Fund is the main source of appropriations to state agencies.

The state has collected $4.7 billion in its General Revenue Fund for the first 10 months of the current fiscal year, which is $621 million, or 15.1 percent, over the amount collected during the first 10 months of last fiscal year. It is also $235.6 million, or 5.2 percent, above the year-to-date estimate used for budgeting purposes.

"Looking toward fiscal year 2019 we should be in a better position than we were last year going into fiscal year 2018," Northrup said, adding that tax collections were up in all major categories.

Here's a breakdown of major categories of General Revenue Fund tax collections:

• Total income tax collections of $448.3 million were $67.8 million, or 17.8 percent, above the estimate and $88.1 million, or 24.4 percent, above the prior year.

• Individual income tax collections of $367.1 million were $21.3 million, or 6.2 percent, above the estimate and $51.3 million, or 16.2 percent, above the prior year.

• Corporate income tax collections of $81.2 million were $46.5 million, or 134.2 percent, above the estimate and $36.8 million, or 82.9 percent, above the prior year.

• Sales tax collections of $189.3 million were $12.8 million, or 7.3 percent, above the estimate and $26.4 million, or 16.2 percent, above the prior year.

• Gross production tax collections of $34.8 million were $1.9 million, or 5.9 percent, above the estimate and $20.5 million, or 143.4 percent, above the prior year.

• Natural gas collections of $22.8 million were $1.5 million, or 6.9 percent, above the estimate and $10.8 million, or 89.6 percent, above the prior year.

• Oil collections of $11.9 million were $482,000, or 4.2 percent, above the estimate and $9.7 million, or 433.7 percent, above the prior year.

• Motor vehicle tax collections of $17.6 million were $0.5 million, or 3.2 percent, above the estimate and $1.4 million, or 8.5 percent, above the prior year.

• Other revenue collections of $74.3 million were $10.7 million, or 16.8 percent, above the estimate and $16.2 million, or 27.9 percent, above the prior year.

Randy Ellis

For the past 30 years, staff writer Randy Ellis has exposed public corruption and government mismanagement in news articles. Ellis has investigated problems in Oklahoma's higher education... Read more ›

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